hathycol: (Default)
Hello everyone, I remain not dead. Just before I slink in to 2017, though, I am going to do this survey. It helps me work out how the year went, and that is a thing I need.

2016 in review )

Overall: for me, personally, 2016 has been a year of triumph and progress and becoming a better me. Unfortunately it has been framed by horror. We keep striving onwards.

Now: there is champagne in the fridge. There is a metric ton of food in the fridge for a quiet new year's day gathering we're having tomorrow. We're over the solstice and the light is coming back.
hathycol: (buggar)
Hello everyone, I remain not dead. Just before I slink in to 2017, though, I am going to do this survey. It helps me work out how the year went, and that is a thing I need.

2016 in review )

Overall: for me, personally, 2016 has been a year of triumph and progress and becoming a better me. Unfortunately it has been framed by horror. We keep striving onwards.

Now: there is champagne in the fridge. There is a metric ton of food in the fridge for a quiet new year's day gathering we're having tomorrow. We're over the solstice and the light is coming back.
hathycol: (Default)
My new job is, er, rather tiring. By which I mean I have spent more than a few walks home mumbling 'oh god I've made a terrible mistake' and getting a bit tear-y about how much I miss my old job.

In what will be a surprise to no one, I'm starting to settle down a bit. The people remain Very Nice, although I keep saying this sort of hesitantly as one or two personality clashes are starting to come in. They're all salespeople, they are very, er, French in temperament. I keep having to say things like 'no, that's illegal' and also gently point out that you will be paid when you are paid, dude, seriously, it's the 24th, calm the fuck down. (That said: I've never done payroll before and I made two really minor-but-terrifying errors this week that led to me going on lunch, walking around the corner, crouching down and desperately trying to calm my breathing. Oh god.) And it's not all bad! It's very exciting when I get to control stuff that is my own stuff to control; I have made a hire for a role that no one thought I could fill without agencies; I have to work out a budget which is scary but also exciting. It's just, well, the office is cold and in a crappy part of Zone 1 and in my first week the flat above had a massive flood and now we don't have a lot of lighting in my spot and oh yes, I am also the office manager, which, hrm.

I am currently sticking with a mantra that I only need to stick with this for a year, and that is no time at all. Honest. Plus I get an assistant soon, and that will really help. Wahey.

I think I just miss my old job. Fortunately on Thursday I'm crashing the Secret Party that the old crew are having, so that will be fun.

It doesn't help that I also managed to fall into a fairly bad loop of winter blues; I didn't get out of bed to run, so my mood dropped lower, so I had less motivation to get of bed, oh dear look at the loop go. I worked out what was going on quick enough to start taking vitamin D and start forcing myself out of the door at lunchtime for a walk. (Also: I have to eat al desko until the summer comes and I can sit by one of the green spaces I've started to ferret out so getting some space from people is also deeply helpful.) But yes, a new job which involves having to be perky and helpful combined with the sun just disappearing has not been super amazing.

Things are not as awful as I'm making them sound! I'm getting out running again and my mood is genuinely better on the days I manage to do a jog before work. (Disclaimer: works for me, will not work for everyone.) But payroll today really kicked my ass, to be honest. Some stuff is good! On my first week on work, Richie took me out on Friday night for a meal in Walthamstow village. We haven't been out with just the two of us for a while and it was a real delight to just share a bottle of wine, far too much French food in a properly delightful local restaurant.

A couple of weekends ago, Matt came to London for the day and we had A Day Out; we visited the Hunterian museum and then braved Islington to go to the Bill Murray, because we're just that cool. A big storm meant Matt ended up staying over, which ended up being far too late a night...

This weekend, Katie came to stay! It was a close-run thing if she could even come, as she'd been really ill recently, involving a whole fortnight in hospital. Eeek! But she hauled herself down to London and we had a lovely low-key weekend; on Saturday I finally got to give her the 30th birthday present and we went to the Harry Potter Studios in Watford. People have been telling me to go for years and I feel very stupid for having put it off for so long - it was bloody brilliant. I read Cursed Child (er, hm) and I have yet to see Fantastic Beasts but goodness me, I forgot how much I love Harry Potter. Katie and I were the only ones cheering for Hufflepuff and I must have taken hundreds of pictures, but it was just... well, magical is a cliche, but it really is. Thoroughly recommended to anyone that can make it.

And now, another week. We're hurtling into December now and I'm hoping my usual flurry of Seeing People For Festive Purposes will see me easily through the next month. And then... 2017. Which has to be a better year, right? I mean... well, if worse comes to to worst at least no one can vote for Trump again in 2017. (I have a feeling that the horror that is this year, politically, is not helping my overall winter blues. I know, I know, me and everyone else.)
hathycol: (PENGUINS)
My new job is, er, rather tiring. By which I mean I have spent more than a few walks home mumbling 'oh god I've made a terrible mistake' and getting a bit tear-y about how much I miss my old job.

In what will be a surprise to no one, I'm starting to settle down a bit. The people remain Very Nice, although I keep saying this sort of hesitantly as one or two personality clashes are starting to come in. They're all salespeople, they are very, er, French in temperament. I keep having to say things like 'no, that's illegal' and also gently point out that you will be paid when you are paid, dude, seriously, it's the 24th, calm the fuck down. (That said: I've never done payroll before and I made two really minor-but-terrifying errors this week that led to me going on lunch, walking around the corner, crouching down and desperately trying to calm my breathing. Oh god.) And it's not all bad! It's very exciting when I get to control stuff that is my own stuff to control; I have made a hire for a role that no one thought I could fill without agencies; I have to work out a budget which is scary but also exciting. It's just, well, the office is cold and in a crappy part of Zone 1 and in my first week the flat above had a massive flood and now we don't have a lot of lighting in my spot and oh yes, I am also the office manager, which, hrm.

I am currently sticking with a mantra that I only need to stick with this for a year, and that is no time at all. Honest. Plus I get an assistant soon, and that will really help. Wahey.

I think I just miss my old job. Fortunately on Thursday I'm crashing the Secret Party that the old crew are having, so that will be fun.

It doesn't help that I also managed to fall into a fairly bad loop of winter blues; I didn't get out of bed to run, so my mood dropped lower, so I had less motivation to get of bed, oh dear look at the loop go. I worked out what was going on quick enough to start taking vitamin D and start forcing myself out of the door at lunchtime for a walk. (Also: I have to eat al desko until the summer comes and I can sit by one of the green spaces I've started to ferret out so getting some space from people is also deeply helpful.) But yes, a new job which involves having to be perky and helpful combined with the sun just disappearing has not been super amazing.

Things are not as awful as I'm making them sound! I'm getting out running again and my mood is genuinely better on the days I manage to do a jog before work. (Disclaimer: works for me, will not work for everyone.) But payroll today really kicked my ass, to be honest. Some stuff is good! On my first week on work, Richie took me out on Friday night for a meal in Walthamstow village. We haven't been out with just the two of us for a while and it was a real delight to just share a bottle of wine, far too much French food in a properly delightful local restaurant.

A couple of weekends ago, Matt came to London for the day and we had A Day Out; we visited the Hunterian museum and then braved Islington to go to the Bill Murray, because we're just that cool. A big storm meant Matt ended up staying over, which ended up being far too late a night...

This weekend, Katie came to stay! It was a close-run thing if she could even come, as she'd been really ill recently, involving a whole fortnight in hospital. Eeek! But she hauled herself down to London and we had a lovely low-key weekend; on Saturday I finally got to give her the 30th birthday present and we went to the Harry Potter Studios in Watford. People have been telling me to go for years and I feel very stupid for having put it off for so long - it was bloody brilliant. I read Cursed Child (er, hm) and I have yet to see Fantastic Beasts but goodness me, I forgot how much I love Harry Potter. Katie and I were the only ones cheering for Hufflepuff and I must have taken hundreds of pictures, but it was just... well, magical is a cliche, but it really is. Thoroughly recommended to anyone that can make it.

And now, another week. We're hurtling into December now and I'm hoping my usual flurry of Seeing People For Festive Purposes will see me easily through the next month. And then... 2017. Which has to be a better year, right? I mean... well, if worse comes to to worst at least no one can vote for Trump again in 2017. (I have a feeling that the horror that is this year, politically, is not helping my overall winter blues. I know, I know, me and everyone else.)

a holiday

Sep. 24th, 2016 05:00 pm
hathycol: (Default)
A history:

Last year, when we went to Corfu, we spent a lot of time peering at the hotels we passed, judging them and wondering if they would be better or worse than where we were staying. Everyone else on the coach did the same thing; it's pretty much what you do on those transfers, particularly in the dark when you can't see the country you're in. We pulled up at a hotel and the coach, as one, made a slight noise of 'oooh'. The couple that were staying there pretty much danced off the coach. On the way home from that same holiday, we picked up the same couple and in the daylight it looked pretty magnificent too.

Some research and hanging on like hell for a good deal to come up on a holiday website later, Richie and I pulled up on that same transfer coach. "Oooh, it's so pretty!" I heard one passenger say. "Fair do's to whoever is staying here," said someone on a Lads Holiday To Kavos. Richie and I strode down the aisle of that coach like gods, let me tell you.

We had in fact technically started our holiday the evening before, in sweltering London temperatures of about 30 degrees. We stayed at a hotel at Gatwick the night before as we had to be at the airport for about 4am. Yuck. A 3am start is weird at the best of times, but high five to the people embracing airport time and drinking quite copiously when we arrived at the airport. But we made it there very smoothly and got to our aforementioned fancy as hell hotel with no problems. Plus we checked in and found it to be truly magnificent hotel too - beautifully modern room, completely clean, no weird stains in the bathroom as per every other European holiday I've ever been on. As we arrived not long after midday we headed on down to the pool and started a pattern that continued throughout the holiday; lots of sunscreen, devouring books and occasionally dipping into the pool to cool down. The only downside was we were half board, so no lunches or drinks included. I discovered by the second day I couldn't skip lunch and just have beer instead...

We did have one issue with the weather, mind you. Storms hit badly after a couple of days. One night I woke up and watched a storm for a bit, and then thought briefly that the water looked pretty high. We were on a floor where the balcony was only about 3 foot about the ground, with a sort of courtyard outside, and the water looked like it was getting a bit higher. Huh, I thought, and went back to bed. We woke up with the room flooded. That was new!

Basically the weather went up and down for the rest of the holiday, but hey, once they cleaned the room they gave us a free bottle of champagne and a plate of desserts. This was on the same day we had our a la carte dinner, so we downed the champagne on the balcony watching the bats and listening to the distant thunder rumble before having a delicious dinner, slightly drunk in the best possible way.

It was just a really lovely, fab holiday. Weather aside, obviously. The hotel really was just lovely, with an infinity pool (!!!) and a private stretch of beach. I read a lot of dystopian future fiction, plus my usual Stephen King stretch. It was fab, it really was.

We did do some other stuff other than just read, be lazy and be flooded. We went to Corfu Town for a morning; we watched Mamma Mia in the lobby on a rainy afternoon, mostly with me howling "WHY ARE WE DOING THIS" under my breath to a rapt Richie (in the end I mostly watched the old ladies watching the film) and we did an aerial yoga class, where you sort of swing about in a hammock and do stretches. I have no upper body or core stretch so guess how that went, but it was really good fun anyway. But mostly - books, the odd beer or terrible Greek wine, sunshine, swimming, relaxing.

And now we're back and it's a Saturday so I still have time before I have to go back to work. I have some slight tan going on and I'm feeling pretty well-rested. The last couple of days we've been back in London and have been to see Aladdin and Marvel Live on cheap matinee tickets, which still had a lot of kids running around but there you go. We spent last night in Greenwich, quietly refusing to admit that our holiday was over yet. It's not until tomorrow, dammit!
hathycol: (robin hood drinks)
A history:

Last year, when we went to Corfu, we spent a lot of time peering at the hotels we passed, judging them and wondering if they would be better or worse than where we were staying. Everyone else on the coach did the same thing; it's pretty much what you do on those transfers, particularly in the dark when you can't see the country you're in. We pulled up at a hotel and the coach, as one, made a slight noise of 'oooh'. The couple that were staying there pretty much danced off the coach. On the way home from that same holiday, we picked up the same couple and in the daylight it looked pretty magnificent too.

Some research and hanging on like hell for a good deal to come up on a holiday website later, Richie and I pulled up on that same transfer coach. "Oooh, it's so pretty!" I heard one passenger say. "Fair do's to whoever is staying here," said someone on a Lads Holiday To Kavos. Richie and I strode down the aisle of that coach like gods, let me tell you.

We had in fact technically started our holiday the evening before, in sweltering London temperatures of about 30 degrees. We stayed at a hotel at Gatwick the night before as we had to be at the airport for about 4am. Yuck. A 3am start is weird at the best of times, but high five to the people embracing airport time and drinking quite copiously when we arrived at the airport. But we made it there very smoothly and got to our aforementioned fancy as hell hotel with no problems. Plus we checked in and found it to be truly magnificent hotel too - beautifully modern room, completely clean, no weird stains in the bathroom as per every other European holiday I've ever been on. As we arrived not long after midday we headed on down to the pool and started a pattern that continued throughout the holiday; lots of sunscreen, devouring books and occasionally dipping into the pool to cool down. The only downside was we were half board, so no lunches or drinks included. I discovered by the second day I couldn't skip lunch and just have beer instead...

We did have one issue with the weather, mind you. Storms hit badly after a couple of days. One night I woke up and watched a storm for a bit, and then thought briefly that the water looked pretty high. We were on a floor where the balcony was only about 3 foot about the ground, with a sort of courtyard outside, and the water looked like it was getting a bit higher. Huh, I thought, and went back to bed. We woke up with the room flooded. That was new!

Basically the weather went up and down for the rest of the holiday, but hey, once they cleaned the room they gave us a free bottle of champagne and a plate of desserts. This was on the same day we had our a la carte dinner, so we downed the champagne on the balcony watching the bats and listening to the distant thunder rumble before having a delicious dinner, slightly drunk in the best possible way.

It was just a really lovely, fab holiday. Weather aside, obviously. The hotel really was just lovely, with an infinity pool (!!!) and a private stretch of beach. I read a lot of dystopian future fiction, plus my usual Stephen King stretch. It was fab, it really was.

We did do some other stuff other than just read, be lazy and be flooded. We went to Corfu Town for a morning; we watched Mamma Mia in the lobby on a rainy afternoon, mostly with me howling "WHY ARE WE DOING THIS" under my breath to a rapt Richie (in the end I mostly watched the old ladies watching the film) and we did an aerial yoga class, where you sort of swing about in a hammock and do stretches. I have no upper body or core stretch so guess how that went, but it was really good fun anyway. But mostly - books, the odd beer or terrible Greek wine, sunshine, swimming, relaxing.

And now we're back and it's a Saturday so I still have time before I have to go back to work. I have some slight tan going on and I'm feeling pretty well-rested. The last couple of days we've been back in London and have been to see Aladdin and Marvel Live on cheap matinee tickets, which still had a lot of kids running around but there you go. We spent last night in Greenwich, quietly refusing to admit that our holiday was over yet. It's not until tomorrow, dammit!
hathycol: (Default)
First of all: one day I will learn that I simply cannot start dancing on a night out and not proceed to make a fool out of myself but at the same time enjoy it enormously. And then due to endorphins from all the dancing I think yeah, sure, I'll definitely take that shot offered to me and anyway I got home at 2.30am so thank god for the Night Tube is all I'm saying.

Let me rewind a little bit.

I haven't stopped in weeks and weeks. Like, at all. Every weekend I have been to see friends, had people visiting. In order to keep my runs up to date I've been getting up at 5.30am, 6am, 5.00am, to get the training in before work. And I've been keeping up and having wonderful times but argh. I went to see Grandad in a new house a couple of weeks ago, which was at least quiet but another weekend not in my own bed. Bank holiday weekend involved me doing a 10 mile run, which was hideous. It was the same course I did a 10km run on a few months ago but it felt approximately 45C out there and I am genuinely flabbergasted I finished. I felt no elation at the end of it, just a crushing need to curl up on the floor and die, which was problematic as I had to get a bus home. I also fell over when I got home through exhaustion so in retrospect I will start eating breakfast in advance of these things YES I AM AWARE THIS SOUNDS OBVIOUS TO MOST PEOPLE.

Still, that afternoon I hauled myself up to St Albans and had a lovely weekend with Mary in her fab new flat. She was working on the Sunday, obviously, but on Saturday night we went to Ikea to pick up a new armchair. It was the Ikea in Milton Keynes so I am embarrassed to admit it took me the whole route there to realise that of course I knew where it was because it was the one by the stadium! Oops.

The Sunday was a really lovely quiet day, though. I gently drank red wine throughout the day, we ate waffles, Richie and I went for a walk when Mary had to go to work and it was just so deliciously quiet. Restful, really. It was very nearly exactly what I needed, except for the part that I also needed a weekend just to sleep and do all of the jobs that I need to do for my piece of mind. I like having a clean flat, being reasonably on top of the laundry, having my paperwork organised and up to date. And also GET SOME DAMNED SLEEP.

Which leads me to an accidental 2.30am homecoming. Oops. So sleep on Saturday was not really a thing that happened, but hangover related cleaning is something I find surprisingly helpful. Now it is Sunday. The paperwork is not done (boringly I need to transfer some pension funds and do some other bits and bobs) but the house is sparkly and clean. PLUS. I have one week left at work then TWO WEEKS of holiday, where I don't need to deep-clean most of the house because I did it this weekend. Now I am binge-watching Arrow - it's highly forgettable thus far but it's going to cross over with Supergirl so I am committed - and faffing about on the internet and last night I slept for 11 hours and promptly did a 14km run when I woke up and it was glorious.

I am very, very nearly there to being recovered from my Summer O' Busy Times. This time next weekend I may well be all the way there, and then promptly I get to do to Corfu and lie in the sun with a book. BLISS.
hathycol: (eowyn)
First of all: one day I will learn that I simply cannot start dancing on a night out and not proceed to make a fool out of myself but at the same time enjoy it enormously. And then due to endorphins from all the dancing I think yeah, sure, I'll definitely take that shot offered to me and anyway I got home at 2.30am so thank god for the Night Tube is all I'm saying.

Let me rewind a little bit.

I haven't stopped in weeks and weeks. Like, at all. Every weekend I have been to see friends, had people visiting. In order to keep my runs up to date I've been getting up at 5.30am, 6am, 5.00am, to get the training in before work. And I've been keeping up and having wonderful times but argh. I went to see Grandad in a new house a couple of weeks ago, which was at least quiet but another weekend not in my own bed. Bank holiday weekend involved me doing a 10 mile run, which was hideous. It was the same course I did a 10km run on a few months ago but it felt approximately 45C out there and I am genuinely flabbergasted I finished. I felt no elation at the end of it, just a crushing need to curl up on the floor and die, which was problematic as I had to get a bus home. I also fell over when I got home through exhaustion so in retrospect I will start eating breakfast in advance of these things YES I AM AWARE THIS SOUNDS OBVIOUS TO MOST PEOPLE.

Still, that afternoon I hauled myself up to St Albans and had a lovely weekend with Mary in her fab new flat. She was working on the Sunday, obviously, but on Saturday night we went to Ikea to pick up a new armchair. It was the Ikea in Milton Keynes so I am embarrassed to admit it took me the whole route there to realise that of course I knew where it was because it was the one by the stadium! Oops.

The Sunday was a really lovely quiet day, though. I gently drank red wine throughout the day, we ate waffles, Richie and I went for a walk when Mary had to go to work and it was just so deliciously quiet. Restful, really. It was very nearly exactly what I needed, except for the part that I also needed a weekend just to sleep and do all of the jobs that I need to do for my piece of mind. I like having a clean flat, being reasonably on top of the laundry, having my paperwork organised and up to date. And also GET SOME DAMNED SLEEP.

Which leads me to an accidental 2.30am homecoming. Oops. So sleep on Saturday was not really a thing that happened, but hangover related cleaning is something I find surprisingly helpful. Now it is Sunday. The paperwork is not done (boringly I need to transfer some pension funds and do some other bits and bobs) but the house is sparkly and clean. PLUS. I have one week left at work then TWO WEEKS of holiday, where I don't need to deep-clean most of the house because I did it this weekend. Now I am binge-watching Arrow - it's highly forgettable thus far but it's going to cross over with Supergirl so I am committed - and faffing about on the internet and last night I slept for 11 hours and promptly did a 14km run when I woke up and it was glorious.

I am very, very nearly there to being recovered from my Summer O' Busy Times. This time next weekend I may well be all the way there, and then promptly I get to do to Corfu and lie in the sun with a book. BLISS.
hathycol: (Default)
Oh, you guys, you guys, I have been so busy recently and there is no sign of it letting up. I can’t even complain about it really; oh dear, poor me, I have been so busy seeing FRIENDS and SOCIALISING and HAVING FUN but it’s all surrounded by doing full weeks at work. To put this into context, I get up, go to work, come home, make/eat dinner, clean up and whatever and by that time it’s 8pm and I can’t force out an LJ post. So I will update soon with more stuff!

However, last weekend I went to LFCC and come hell, high water, or having to write the draft on the work PC on a quiet afternoon (if anyone comes over to look I have an extremely convincing looking policy open in another window) I will always do my con write up. So!

Friday afternoon was horrendously busy in work. I knew I had Lucy and Tali coming to stay and the morning was slow, the type where I got through my workload and was all prepared to stroll out at 5.27pm. The afternoon was full of niggly things that absolutely had to be done then, but it was okay! Because Richie would be at home and Lucy and Tali would go THERE and everything would be fine.

At 5.27pm my boss asked me to do a system change. At the same time, I got texts from Richie saying he was running late. All was woe and pain. I refused to make the changes and flung myself out of the door and did the world’s most efficient Friday night Tesco run on the way home from work. Luckily all was well and they were all at home when I arrived. Yay!

That evening we ate a mountain of pasta and sat around the kitchen table, drinking wine and catching up. I do so love having friends around in the safe knowledge I’ve fed them! However, we couldn’t have TOO late a night, as we were planning on getting up at 5.45am. CONVENTIONS!

In which Paul McGann flirts, or Day 1 )

Musings on spoons and the womblus Rex, or Day 2 )

It was a lovely weekend, all told. On Monday I was a tired and gibbering wreck in work and frankly am not much better now, but life goes on. I would say 'my feet have stopped hurting' but due to busy weekends I am running a LOT in the mornings before work and I did a 12km and now they hurt again, but I can't really blame LFCC for that.

I need to go to more conventions, I think. I have missed them. All my pictures are on facebook; I missed out on loads of awesome cosplayers, like a lovely Supergirl, a fab Jesse and Cassidy from Preacher (a side note: Richie and I are trialling Amazon Prime and have inhaled Preacher in a fortnight. It was awesome and oh TULIP YOU ARE BEST) and generally just wonderful awesome people.

But now: onwards! And I will definitely write up the rest of my Very Busy July soon!
hathycol: (happydoctor)
Oh, you guys, you guys, I have been so busy recently and there is no sign of it letting up. I can’t even complain about it really; oh dear, poor me, I have been so busy seeing FRIENDS and SOCIALISING and HAVING FUN but it’s all surrounded by doing full weeks at work. To put this into context, I get up, go to work, come home, make/eat dinner, clean up and whatever and by that time it’s 8pm and I can’t force out an LJ post. So I will update soon with more stuff!

However, last weekend I went to LFCC and come hell, high water, or having to write the draft on the work PC on a quiet afternoon (if anyone comes over to look I have an extremely convincing looking policy open in another window) I will always do my con write up. So!

Friday afternoon was horrendously busy in work. I knew I had Lucy and Tali coming to stay and the morning was slow, the type where I got through my workload and was all prepared to stroll out at 5.27pm. The afternoon was full of niggly things that absolutely had to be done then, but it was okay! Because Richie would be at home and Lucy and Tali would go THERE and everything would be fine.

At 5.27pm my boss asked me to do a system change. At the same time, I got texts from Richie saying he was running late. All was woe and pain. I refused to make the changes and flung myself out of the door and did the world’s most efficient Friday night Tesco run on the way home from work. Luckily all was well and they were all at home when I arrived. Yay!

That evening we ate a mountain of pasta and sat around the kitchen table, drinking wine and catching up. I do so love having friends around in the safe knowledge I’ve fed them! However, we couldn’t have TOO late a night, as we were planning on getting up at 5.45am. CONVENTIONS!

In which Paul McGann flirts, or Day 1 )

Musing on spoons and the womblus rex, or Day 2 )

It was a lovely weekend, all told. On Monday I was a tired and gibbering wreck in work and frankly am not much better now, but life goes on. I would say 'my feet have stopped hurting' but due to busy weekends I am running a LOT in the mornings before work and I did a 12km and now they hurt again, but I can't really blame LFCC for that.

I need to go to more conventions, I think. I have missed them. All my pictures are on facebook; I missed out on loads of awesome cosplayers, like a lovely Supergirl, a fab Jesse and Cassidy from Preacher (a side note: Richie and I are trialling Amazon Prime and have inhaled Preacher in a fortnight. It was awesome and oh TULIP YOU ARE BEST) and generally just wonderful awesome people.

But now: onwards! And I will definitely write up the rest of my Very Busy July soon!
hathycol: (Default)
Hello from the UK, where we have spent the last fortnight in what can only be described as a national tailspin. At the moment the two main runners for PM are both women, which is nice, except one is Theresa 'Quite Possibly A Bond Villain' May and Andrea Leadsom gave an interview this weekend where she cheerfully described childless May as 'probably sad' that she has no kids but, you know, can't possibly have the same stake in the future as people who are mothers.

So that is a thing happening in the background to everything right now. Woo.

In the meanwhile, life... goes on, I suppose. Not much else that can be done, really. Last weekend I went to an ordination for Mary, who is now officially a reverend and is a deacon. She gets the dog collar but can't do the sacraments yet, from what I can tell, and has to be an assistant vicar for a bit. It was a lovely ceremony as far as I can judge these things, which is obviously not that far at all! It took place in St Albans cathedral with Quite A Lot of bishops, so Richie and I decided to hide the fact we knew nothing about the Church of England (or at least I don't past about 1690) by rocking up looking mega formal. It was lovely to hear lots of people singing along passionately with the hymns, though.

Afterwards we went to a party in a church hall before having dinner, Mary resplendent in a cassock. It was... um, a difficult day, actually, with lots of people I don't know, and shoes that fought against me the whole time. Getting home and stripping out of my make up and getting to be quiet for a bit was utter bliss. I had done a lot of networking that week at work as well and it's... tricky, sometimes, having to be On all the time. Ah well.

This weekend was a very different kettle of fish, mind you. After an epic long run in the morning (one thing that is currently brilliant: my ankles are back to full strength and I'm running for really long stretches on Saturdays which is marvellous for my mental and physical health, let me tell you) Richie and I went out and watched a matinee of a play called The Truth which was... very French, I think is a good description? It's a new play that's got very good reviews and I did enjoy it. Afterwards we met up with John and went for drinks and a fairly terrible dinner (although at least there was wine and gossip) and then Richie and I went to see a developing fringe show featuring Margaret Thatcher as a game show host. My life, what even. I ended up on stage at one point holding a shoe and several sets of keys. It was... that kind of day.

Now it is Sunday. I have done very little today except eat and plough my way through Rat Queens (which is brilliant) and the sixth volume of Saga which I was extremely overexcited to finally get my hands on. Tomorrow, back to work. Alas. As everyone goes off to their summer holidays I bed down for two months of covering everyone else. Sigh. But I do have a lot of Seeing All Of The Friends And Having All Of The Fun over the next few weekends to see me through, and that is not to be sniffed at.
hathycol: (eowyn)
Hello from the UK, where we have spent the last fortnight in what can only be described as a national tailspin. At the moment the two main runners for PM are both women, which is nice, except one is Theresa 'Quite Possibly A Bond Villain' May and Andrea Leadsom gave an interview this weekend where she cheerfully described childless May as 'probably sad' that she has no kids but, you know, can't possibly have the same stake in the future as people who are mothers.

So that is a thing happening in the background to everything right now. Woo.

In the meanwhile, life... goes on, I suppose. Not much else that can be done, really. Last weekend I went to an ordination for Mary, who is now officially a reverend and is a deacon. She gets the dog collar but can't do the sacraments yet, from what I can tell, and has to be an assistant vicar for a bit. It was a lovely ceremony as far as I can judge these things, which is obviously not that far at all! It took place in St Albans cathedral with Quite A Lot of bishops, so Richie and I decided to hide the fact we knew nothing about the Church of England (or at least I don't past about 1690) by rocking up looking mega formal. It was lovely to hear lots of people singing along passionately with the hymns, though.

Afterwards we went to a party in a church hall before having dinner, Mary resplendent in a cassock. It was... um, a difficult day, actually, with lots of people I don't know, and shoes that fought against me the whole time. Getting home and stripping out of my make up and getting to be quiet for a bit was utter bliss. I had done a lot of networking that week at work as well and it's... tricky, sometimes, having to be On all the time. Ah well.

This weekend was a very different kettle of fish, mind you. After an epic long run in the morning (one thing that is currently brilliant: my ankles are back to full strength and I'm running for really long stretches on Saturdays which is marvellous for my mental and physical health, let me tell you) Richie and I went out and watched a matinee of a play called The Truth which was... very French, I think is a good description? It's a new play that's got very good reviews and I did enjoy it. Afterwards we met up with John and went for drinks and a fairly terrible dinner (although at least there was wine and gossip) and then Richie and I went to see a developing fringe show featuring Margaret Thatcher as a game show host. My life, what even. I ended up on stage at one point holding a shoe and several sets of keys. It was... that kind of day.

Now it is Sunday. I have done very little today except eat and plough my way through Rat Queens (which is brilliant) and the sixth volume of Saga which I was extremely overexcited to finally get my hands on. Tomorrow, back to work. Alas. As everyone goes off to their summer holidays I bed down for two months of covering everyone else. Sigh. But I do have a lot of Seeing All Of The Friends And Having All Of The Fun over the next few weekends to see me through, and that is not to be sniffed at.
hathycol: (Default)
I voted for Britain to Remain part of the EU on a truly apocalyptic morning. I had been awake half of the night, my childlike-inherited-from-the-female-line fear of thunder causing me to curl up against Richie at 2am as the windows rattled and the bedroom lit up with periodic lightening strikes. Still, I tore myself out of bed when the alarm went off, put on plenty of layers, and jogged through the tail end of the rain. Fat raindrops fell on me as I splashed through puddles, my glasses steaming up. In my unattractive running bumbag I had my phone, my keys and my polling card.

I queued up in a long queue, and squelched damply into the booth to do my duties. I had a joke with the polling station officers about how there normally wasn't a queue and I thought I could just run in and out. I cleaned my glasses, made triple sure I was voting the right way, and then popped my slip into the box and jogged home. I listened to a podcast about female representation in sci-fi merchandising.

It was a tense day, the sky gunmetal grey and hammering down water in sheets. By the evening, though, the rain eased off and I hoped, I hoped, I hoped that the storm was over. I went to bed at a sensible time. I felt Richie get up much earlier than me to watch the results come in, but I know the limits to which I can reach without sleep, so I left him to it. At 4am I got up. I was hoping for a day of exhaustion tinged with relief, probably with concern about the rest of the country and how Leave would deal with the disappointment.

Forty minutes later, all of the major broadcasters started calling it for Vote Leave. Richie and I looked at each other, aghast. He got dressed and went to the gym and beat the shit out of the weight machines, he tells me. I watched for longer, glued to social media. I did some cleaning, prepped my lunch. What else can you do? Nigel Farage came on to the TV and crowed about immigration, not 7 miles as the crow flies from my house, and I watched the pound move into freefall. I thought about the email we'd had from our Japanese HQ, warning of Brexit consequences. I thought of my company and the work it does with major financial institutions and I thought about my job. I turned off the TV, got a different train to work, and walked across an ashen-faced, red-eyed, City of London, past the Bank of England, past the shops just opening for the day. People scurried in their sundresses and Friday-casual jeans and shirts, looking like they'd had a shock. We had, I suppose.

It was a beautiful day. I sat outside and ate the lunch I'd made when I couldn't face Farage crowing on television about breaking up the largest peaceful initiative this country may ever know. This was just before we'd start to notice he'd also probably managed to destroy the Union and undo the Good Friday agreement, and Spain started to make a grab for Gibraltar, and the jobs started to move to Frankfurt. I knew about this at the time I ate my salad. Greek feta, UK salad leaves, a cheerfully bright plastic lunchbox made in China, a woman sat on a lawn and getting tearful. Conversations around me all about politics. I've never seen the like. I will see it again a lot, I think.

I have lost my country, it feels like. I wonder if this is the anger that drove the 52% of the country - the 55% of where I was born, for those interested - to vote Leave in such numbers and such rage.

--

I wonder if I'm being self-indulgent and selfish. The thing is, right, that my life was going really well. My career was coming together, in the private sector and in the City. I live in a wonderful, multicultural city. I have some savings. I'm healthy, I don't have children, I am married in a stable relationship and as such can halve my housing costs. I'm white. I'm straight-passing. I'm educated and have clawed my way out of the North and up by a social class. Sure, I don't own property but compared to someone on benefits in Hartlepool my life is blessed.

I get that people are angry and I understand why they have caused this uprising. I really really do. Maybe I have no right to be so angry in return. I'm All Right Jack is no reason to impose my will on others.

But I have tried to bring about change. If I wanted things to stay the same, my God, I would have voted Conservative and been done with it. I have consistently voted for the Labour party. I voted to change the electoral system to AV to try and give more people a voice in the electoral process. I am very, very pro-change. I don't think I should be a winner in the system. I don't think the system should have winners. This is not the right change. The racists, the fascists, across the country and beyond, are emboldened now because of the actions of our elites. Scotland is probably going to leave the UK. I strongly supported them staying in, in 2014. Now I don't want them to leave but I wish them well and will not oppose Scottish independence. The Conservative and Unionist party have, after all this time, probably just given Ulster to Ireland, 102 years after the Easter Uprising. All those people who died in the IRA campaigns and it is two Eton schoolboys who have given them their victory.

I am worried about this country. I'm worried about all my friends and colleagues who are not stereotypical white-English. I'm worried about anyone who relies on the public sector. I am worried about my job. I am worried about my future. In a very real way, I'm actually still potentially a winner. I have the necessary qualifications and skills to be a desired immigrant in New Zealand, as it happens. I have a Scottish spouse and Richie and I are starting to talk very seriously of a move to Edinburgh or Glasgow. I do not want to move to any of these places. I want to stay here, in the city I have made my home, that I am heartened to see opens itself up to everyone, that has serious flaws but I want to try and make it better. This is not the way to make it better. Despite my occasional wish to make it better, turning London into a city-state really won't help either. Our politicians are resigning, hiding, turning on each other. The Leave campaign says that it was the job of the government to have a plan for Brexit. I do, actually, slightly agree with them there, but now they should step up and try to find a way out of the chaos they have wrought, rather than simply say 'yep, it was all a lie'.

(I can see now why the boss of Wetherspoons so passionately supported the Leave campaign. It's the only place we'll be able to afford a night out, now.)

--

On Saturday I went out, as planned, to the 10km run I had booked a few weeks ago. My first official run, even though I knew my ankles weren't quite strong enough to do it without the odd walking interval. The sun shone occasionally through the clouds and I slowly looped my way around the outdoor cycling track at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Ground, in Stratford. (Remember the Olympics? Remember how proud we were to be British, that month?) My hair, split into pigtails, bounced gently and made useful sweat repositories. I had a podcast playing low in my ears, enjoying the music from the occasional stands it was playing. Haters gonna hate, you got me crazy right now. I grabbed a water half way around. I started to suffer towards the end but I sprinted the last 100 metres and leapt across the finishing line, hugged Richie who recoiled from my smell. I picked up my medal, my flapjack, threw on some deodorant and got the bus home. The runners high was incredible and I felt in love with the world again.

At home, I looked again at the vest I had bought as my Try To Enjoy Running Events top. It's got a print from the issue of Hawkeye told entirely from Lucky's perspective. It's a pretty awesome top. "OK, this looks bad," it proclaimed.

Even my top summed up my feelings on the whole thing.

--

My mother in law is here this weekend, in London for a course. Richie is out cycling. Tomorrow I have work. Life goes on. But it feels smaller, meaner, now.
hathycol: (buggar)
I voted for Britain to Remain part of the EU on a truly apocalyptic morning. I had been awake half of the night, my childlike-inherited-from-the-female-line fear of thunder causing me to curl up against Richie at 2am as the windows rattled and the bedroom lit up with periodic lightening strikes. Still, I tore myself out of bed when the alarm went off, put on plenty of layers, and jogged through the tail end of the rain. Fat raindrops fell on me as I splashed through puddles, my glasses steaming up. In my unattractive running bumbag I had my phone, my keys and my polling card.

I queued up in a long queue, and squelched damply into the booth to do my duties. I had a joke with the polling station officers about how there normally wasn't a queue and I thought I could just run in and out. I cleaned my glasses, made triple sure I was voting the right way, and then popped my slip into the box and jogged home. I listened to a podcast about female representation in sci-fi merchandising.

It was a tense day, the sky gunmetal grey and hammering down water in sheets. By the evening, though, the rain eased off and I hoped, I hoped, I hoped that the storm was over. I went to bed at a sensible time. I felt Richie get up much earlier than me to watch the results come in, but I know the limits to which I can reach without sleep, so I left him to it. At 4am I got up. I was hoping for a day of exhaustion tinged with relief, probably with concern about the rest of the country and how Leave would deal with the disappointment.

Forty minutes later, all of the major broadcasters started calling it for Vote Leave. Richie and I looked at each other, aghast. He got dressed and went to the gym and beat the shit out of the weight machines, he tells me. I watched for longer, glued to social media. I did some cleaning, prepped my lunch. What else can you do? Nigel Farage came on to the TV and crowed about immigration, not 7 miles as the crow flies from my house, and I watched the pound move into freefall. I thought about the email we'd had from our Japanese HQ, warning of Brexit consequences. I thought of my company and the work it does with major financial institutions and I thought about my job. I turned off the TV, got a different train to work, and walked across an ashen-faced, red-eyed, City of London, past the Bank of England, past the shops just opening for the day. People scurried in their sundresses and Friday-casual jeans and shirts, looking like they'd had a shock. We had, I suppose.

It was a beautiful day. I sat outside and ate the lunch I'd made when I couldn't face Farage crowing on television about breaking up the largest peaceful initiative this country may ever know. This was just before we'd start to notice he'd also probably managed to destroy the Union and undo the Good Friday agreement, and Spain started to make a grab for Gibraltar, and the jobs started to move to Frankfurt. I knew about this at the time I ate my salad. Greek feta, UK salad leaves, a cheerfully bright plastic lunchbox made in China, a woman sat on a lawn and getting tearful. Conversations around me all about politics. I've never seen the like. I will see it again a lot, I think.

I have lost my country, it feels like. I wonder if this is the anger that drove the 52% of the country - the 55% of where I was born, for those interested - to vote Leave in such numbers and such rage.

--

I wonder if I'm being self-indulgent and selfish. The thing is, right, that my life was going really well. My career was coming together, in the private sector and in the City. I live in a wonderful, multicultural city. I have some savings. I'm healthy, I don't have children, I am married in a stable relationship and as such can halve my housing costs. I'm white. I'm straight-passing. I'm educated and have clawed my way out of the North and up by a social class. Sure, I don't own property but compared to someone on benefits in Hartlepool my life is blessed.

I get that people are angry and I understand why they have caused this uprising. I really really do. Maybe I have no right to be so angry in return. I'm All Right Jack is no reason to impose my will on others.

But I have tried to bring about change. If I wanted things to stay the same, my God, I would have voted Conservative and been done with it. I have consistently voted for the Labour party. I voted to change the electoral system to AV to try and give more people a voice in the electoral process. I am very, very pro-change. I don't think I should be a winner in the system. I don't think the system should have winners. This is not the right change. The racists, the fascists, across the country and beyond, are emboldened now because of the actions of our elites. Scotland is probably going to leave the UK. I strongly supported them staying in, in 2014. Now I don't want them to leave but I wish them well and will not oppose Scottish independence. The Conservative and Unionist party have, after all this time, probably just given Ulster to Ireland, 102 years after the Easter Uprising. All those people who died in the IRA campaigns and it is two Eton schoolboys who have given them their victory.

I am worried about this country. I'm worried about all my friends and colleagues who are not stereotypical white-English. I'm worried about anyone who relies on the public sector. I am worried about my job. I am worried about my future. In a very real way, I'm actually still potentially a winner. I have the necessary qualifications and skills to be a desired immigrant in New Zealand, as it happens. I have a Scottish spouse and Richie and I are starting to talk very seriously of a move to Edinburgh or Glasgow. I do not want to move to any of these places. I want to stay here, in the city I have made my home, that I am heartened to see opens itself up to everyone, that has serious flaws but I want to try and make it better. This is not the way to make it better. Despite my occasional wish to make it better, turning London into a city-state really won't help either. Our politicians are resigning, hiding, turning on each other. The Leave campaign says that it was the job of the government to have a plan for Brexit. I do, actually, slightly agree with them there, but now they should step up and try to find a way out of the chaos they have wrought, rather than simply say 'yep, it was all a lie'.

(I can see now why the boss of Wetherspoons so passionately supported the Leave campaign. It's the only place we'll be able to afford a night out, now.)

--

On Saturday I went out, as planned, to the 10km run I had booked a few weeks ago. My first official run, even though I knew my ankles weren't quite strong enough to do it without the odd walking interval. The sun shone occasionally through the clouds and I slowly looped my way around the outdoor cycling track at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Ground, in Stratford. (Remember the Olympics? Remember how proud we were to be British, that month?) My hair, split into pigtails, bounced gently and made useful sweat repositories. I had a podcast playing low in my ears, enjoying the music from the occasional stands it was playing. Haters gonna hate, you got me crazy right now. I grabbed a water half way around. I started to suffer towards the end but I sprinted the last 100 metres and leapt across the finishing line, hugged Richie who recoiled from my smell. I picked up my medal, my flapjack, threw on some deodorant and got the bus home. The runners high was incredible and I felt in love with the world again.

At home, I looked again at the vest I had bought as my Try To Enjoy Running Events top. It's got a print from the issue of Hawkeye told entirely from Lucky's perspective. It's a pretty awesome top. "OK, this looks bad," it proclaimed.

Even my top summed up my feelings on the whole thing.

--

My mother in law is here this weekend, in London for a course. Richie is out cycling. Tomorrow I have work. Life goes on. But it feels smaller, meaner, now.
hathycol: (Default)
Christ, but it's a fucking awful week. In the space of a week there's been a shooting in Orlando in a gay bar and in the UK an MP was murdered by a far right terrorist. Combined with This Bloody Referendum and Donald Trump the world feels like a very mean place.

I've been re-reading Salem's Lot in the last week and one of the characters talks about how you can feel that the town's 'gone bad' - the people are still there, but they've changed, and underlying terror comes to the fore. I dunno. It feels like that. There was a wonderful vigil in Soho on Monday night for the victims of Orlando. And at least the referendum campaigning stopped for a few days. We now have five days until the election, when we decide whether or not we're going to stay in the EU. For those abroad not quite following this, basically the prime minister decided to hold a referendum on an incredibly complicated and emotive issue in an attempt to hold off the extreme right-wing of his own party. To say that this has backfired as a strategy does not fully comprehend the unpleasantness of recent weeks.

I am firmly and strongly backing Remain and more or less everyone I know is as well. The polls are incredibly close and I feel really sick about the thought of the Leave vote squeaking it. I mean... I'm in an okay place right now, you know? I even have SAVINGS. I am so privileged. But I don't own any property, I still have a bucketload of money that I owe to the student loan people and I work on a very international industry. I don't like my odds if the economy nosedives. It's been very quiet in work for the last month as it is.

There are some intelligent people making coherent arguments for Leave, but most of the arguments seems to boil down the Jacob Rees-Mogg argument - sovereignity, as though we don't vote in the EU Parliament? - or frankly plain xenophobia and racism against immigrants. Lots of people shrieking that people are Coming Over Here and Using Our Public Services, as opposed to the actual truth that actually the issue is cuts put through by the government. There's also a fringe of people who seem to think that Leave will bring down the government and replace it with some kind of utopia and I wonder what those people think that Boris, Gove and Farage will do to the welfare state.

I dunno. As I said. An unpleasant week.

On the bright side, Richie came home! He is rocking a farmers tan and I have spent the week desperately trying to feed him up. We went out to Lima for dinner last night which was once again epic and awesome. Then we stopped for a drink on the way home and they kept feeding up antipasto. I tipped magnificently to apologise for the amount of mozzarella I ate.

Next week Richie's mum is coming to stay in London for a week. That's a thing.
hathycol: (venice - thinkies)
Christ, but it's a fucking awful week. In the space of a week there's been a shooting in Orlando in a gay bar and in the UK an MP was murdered by a far right terrorist. Combined with This Bloody Referendum and Donald Trump the world feels like a very mean place.

I've been re-reading Salem's Lot in the last week and one of the characters talks about how you can feel that the town's 'gone bad' - the people are still there, but they've changed, and underlying terror comes to the fore. I dunno. It feels like that. There was a wonderful vigil in Soho on Monday night for the victims of Orlando. And at least the referendum campaigning stopped for a few days. We now have five days until the election, when we decide whether or not we're going to stay in the EU. For those abroad not quite following this, basically the prime minister decided to hold a referendum on an incredibly complicated and emotive issue in an attempt to hold off the extreme right-wing of his own party. To say that this has backfired as a strategy does not fully comprehend the unpleasantness of recent weeks.

I am firmly and strongly backing Remain and more or less everyone I know is as well. The polls are incredibly close and I feel really sick about the thought of the Leave vote squeaking it. I mean... I'm in an okay place right now, you know? I even have SAVINGS. I am so privileged. But I don't own any property, I still have a bucketload of money that I owe to the student loan people and I work on a very international industry. I don't like my odds if the economy nosedives. It's been very quiet in work for the last month as it is.

There are some intelligent people making coherent arguments for Leave, but most of the arguments seems to boil down the Jacob Rees-Mogg argument - sovereignity, as though we don't vote in the EU Parliament? - or frankly plain xenophobia and racism against immigrants. Lots of people shrieking that people are Coming Over Here and Using Our Public Services, as opposed to the actual truth that actually the issue is cuts put through by the government. There's also a fringe of people who seem to think that Leave will bring down the government and replace it with some kind of utopia and I wonder what those people think that Boris, Gove and Farage will do to the welfare state.

I dunno. As I said. An unpleasant week.

On the bright side, Richie came home! He is rocking a farmers tan and I have spent the week desperately trying to feed him up. We went out to Lima for dinner last night which was once again epic and awesome. Then we stopped for a drink on the way home and they kept feeding up antipasto. I tipped magnificently to apologise for the amount of mozzarella I ate.

Next week Richie's mum is coming to stay in London for a week. That's a thing.
hathycol: (Default)
Richie has been gone for a few days now on his cycle. It's been going well for him, although he's gone quiet today. I think it's a longer ride, though? He was a nervous wreck on Saturday (which mostly resulted in him biting my head off repeatedly and often, a habit I also have when I'm stressed) but on Sunday we both got up early and got a taxi to St Pancras. I expected to hang around for ages but the rest of his team also turned up on time, so I left him to it and swung back home again for breakfast in the sun. (This means 'I opened the kitchen window' but, you know.)

However, I also had A Plan for Sunday. I took two buses out to the nearby IKEA (I miss my car sometimes), arriving there about ten minutes after opening because I absolutely could not bear the thought of loads of crowds. I had a strict list of Stuff I Definitely Needed that I had been percolating in my mind for about two months. So I went aiming for throws to cover our increasingly grubby white sofa; some kind of storage solution for the kitchen cupboards; a shower curtain; and most importantly, a new bookcase. Our book situation is ridiculous and that was before Richie and I fell into comic books which is terrible for our wallets and our storage situation. Lest anyone has forgotten, we are two people with packrat tendencies in a small one bedroom flat in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Our chances of moving anywhere bigger is unlikely, to say the least.

I was quite good at sticking to the list, to my amazement. I only had a couple of occasions where I wandered into the show homes and was very good at not keening in lust for all of the lovely things I could jazz up my home with. In fact I only went off list for candles, and that's kind of mandatory at IKEA, right?? The bookcase I had spotted online did not fit with the space we have in our living room, though. (I am very glad I thought ahead and took measurements with me.) I did, however, find a smaller options at less than half the price. In fact I ended up only using a third of the budget I had put aside, which was a delightful surprise and very handy as it meant I could get a taxi home rather than having to wrangle an entire bookcase on two buses...

I then had a fantastically enjoyable evening where, basically, I Sorted My Fucking Life Out. The flat has, over the last few months, descended from 'manageable chaos' to 'why do we have so much fucking stuff and why is it not organised' and it was playing on my mind more than I realised, actually. One old bookcase is now awaiting large collection pick up from the council and is perching in the hallway. All the DVDs have been shifted on to the remaining short bookcase, which has more shelves so now we have more space there rather than just desperately doublestacking. I built the bookcase - and it was really easy! why did no one think I could do this? why did I not think I could do this? - put it in the corner and went through all of the books we own. By some miracle I have still managed to fill up the bigger bookcase, and that's with a lot of books heading to the charity shop. And then, because I was on a roll, I cleared out the Chaos Corner Of Doom. I sorted out my paperwork. I took the box of pictures up the attic, as it was time to admit they weren't getting hung during our time living in this flat. I put the new throws on the sofa - brown and bed, a splash of colour and homeliness. I took down the old shower curtain and hung the new one, which has the most beautiful and bright pattern. I went through our food cupboard and organised it with the new freestanding shelves I'd bought, and threw some stuff out that had gone off but the chaos in the cupboards meant I hadn't found it. I cleaned the flat. I eyed up a spot under the window shelf and decided that was next on my list. I did my ironing.

I feel a thousand times better, you guys. I can't even describe. Even now, a few days later, I'm writing this looking at an organised room that feels light and airy. I feel better in my headspace. Probably helping this, mind you, is that I have also really leaned in to my introverted self this week. I had work on Monday, came home, and haven't had a meaningful interaction with anyone but a shop assistant at Lush yesterday. I went for a long and extremely enjoyable run yesterday morning in the increasingly blistering heat and spent the afternoon ambling around Westfield, mostly spending all of the money I saved at IKEA. I picked up some more stuff for the flat because I could, mostly, a water belt to wear whilst running because did I mention the heat, shoes, Lush stuff. I debated catching a film or stopping for a tea but instead I found myself buying a bikini for my holiday. It's from M&S because I figured a shop for the older lady would have a decent range of more scaffolding-type bikinis, and I got lucky. I still have the receipt but I'm going to try and be brave and not take it back and instead take it on holiday and actually wear the damned thing. I am not repulsive and I need to remember that sometimes.

And I came home with my bits for the house and sorted out the aforementioned shelf below the window, made a massive pot of chili, and accidentally stayed up until 2am watching Game of Thrones, drinking perhaps a touch too much wine. What can I say, I am apparently a Lannister like that. Today has been a lazy day, only briefing popping out for some food and to do the first drop at Oxfam. Now I'm eating huge juicy strawberries, watching the raid and thunderstorms pass through and having time to do things like post a massive LJ update. Back to work tomorrow and Richie is back on Saturday. Which is good, as all that said I am just starting to hit the point where I'm missing company, and sleeping without Richie is quite sad.

But at the same time, I needed this. I feel like I'm recharging, and nearly at full battery. Work will drain me a little, but hell, them's the breaks. For now, I'm feeling good.
hathycol: (happydoctor)
Richie has been gone for a few days now on his cycle. It's been going well for him, although he's gone quiet today. I think it's a longer ride, though? He was a nervous wreck on Saturday (which mostly resulted in him biting my head off repeatedly and often, a habit I also have when I'm stressed) but on Sunday we both got up early and got a taxi to St Pancras. I expected to hang around for ages but the rest of his team also turned up on time, so I left him to it and swung back home again for breakfast in the sun. (This means 'I opened the kitchen window' but, you know.)

However, I also had A Plan for Sunday. I took two buses out to the nearby IKEA (I miss my car sometimes), arriving there about ten minutes after opening because I absolutely could not bear the thought of loads of crowds. I had a strict list of Stuff I Definitely Needed that I had been percolating in my mind for about two months. So I went aiming for throws to cover our increasingly grubby white sofa; some kind of storage solution for the kitchen cupboards; a shower curtain; and most importantly, a new bookcase. Our book situation is ridiculous and that was before Richie and I fell into comic books which is terrible for our wallets and our storage situation. Lest anyone has forgotten, we are two people with packrat tendencies in a small one bedroom flat in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Our chances of moving anywhere bigger is unlikely, to say the least.

I was quite good at sticking to the list, to my amazement. I only had a couple of occasions where I wandered into the show homes and was very good at not keening in lust for all of the lovely things I could jazz up my home with. In fact I only went off list for candles, and that's kind of mandatory at IKEA, right?? The bookcase I had spotted online did not fit with the space we have in our living room, though. (I am very glad I thought ahead and took measurements with me.) I did, however, find a smaller options at less than half the price. In fact I ended up only using a third of the budget I had put aside, which was a delightful surprise and very handy as it meant I could get a taxi home rather than having to wrangle an entire bookcase on two buses...

I then had a fantastically enjoyable evening where, basically, I Sorted My Fucking Life Out. The flat has, over the last few months, descended from 'manageable chaos' to 'why do we have so much fucking stuff and why is it not organised' and it was playing on my mind more than I realised, actually. One old bookcase is now awaiting large collection pick up from the council and is perching in the hallway. All the DVDs have been shifted on to the remaining short bookcase, which has more shelves so now we have more space there rather than just desperately doublestacking. I built the bookcase - and it was really easy! why did no one think I could do this? why did I not think I could do this? - put it in the corner and went through all of the books we own. By some miracle I have still managed to fill up the bigger bookcase, and that's with a lot of books heading to the charity shop. And then, because I was on a roll, I cleared out the Chaos Corner Of Doom. I sorted out my paperwork. I took the box of pictures up the attic, as it was time to admit they weren't getting hung during our time living in this flat. I put the new throws on the sofa - brown and bed, a splash of colour and homeliness. I took down the old shower curtain and hung the new one, which has the most beautiful and bright pattern. I went through our food cupboard and organised it with the new freestanding shelves I'd bought, and threw some stuff out that had gone off but the chaos in the cupboards meant I hadn't found it. I cleaned the flat. I eyed up a spot under the window shelf and decided that was next on my list. I did my ironing.

I feel a thousand times better, you guys. I can't even describe. Even now, a few days later, I'm writing this looking at an organised room that feels light and airy. I feel better in my headspace. Probably helping this, mind you, is that I have also really leaned in to my introverted self this week. I had work on Monday, came home, and haven't had a meaningful interaction with anyone but a shop assistant at Lush yesterday. I went for a long and extremely enjoyable run yesterday morning in the increasingly blistering heat and spent the afternoon ambling around Westfield, mostly spending all of the money I saved at IKEA. I picked up some more stuff for the flat because I could, mostly, a water belt to wear whilst running because did I mention the heat, shoes, Lush stuff. I debated catching a film or stopping for a tea but instead I found myself buying a bikini for my holiday. It's from M&S because I figured a shop for the older lady would have a decent range of more scaffolding-type bikinis, and I got lucky. I still have the receipt but I'm going to try and be brave and not take it back and instead take it on holiday and actually wear the damned thing. I am not repulsive and I need to remember that sometimes.

And I came home with my bits for the house and sorted out the aforementioned shelf below the window, made a massive pot of chili, and accidentally stayed up until 2am watching Game of Thrones, drinking perhaps a touch too much wine. What can I say, I am apparently a Lannister like that. Today has been a lazy day, only briefing popping out for some food and to do the first drop at Oxfam. Now I'm eating huge juicy strawberries, watching the raid and thunderstorms pass through and having time to do things like post a massive LJ update. Back to work tomorrow and Richie is back on Saturday. Which is good, as all that said I am just starting to hit the point where I'm missing company, and sleeping without Richie is quite sad.

But at the same time, I needed this. I feel like I'm recharging, and nearly at full battery. Work will drain me a little, but hell, them's the breaks. For now, I'm feeling good.
hathycol: (Default)
3 day weekends are the best, you guys, I cannot even describe. It's a Sunday night and I have completed my usual weekend tasks of cleaning, shopping, sleeping in, drinking wine and watching nonsense on the telly all with the delightful knowledge that tomorrow I am! also! off work! and all of my chores are done! How exciting.

It's been a busy May. Post food-poisoning, Eurovision did indeed go ahead. Originally it was a small gathering, then it sort of grew when Kirsty asked if her brother and his girlfriend could come over. Of course, I said, and worried that I didn't have enough food, drink, clean enough flat or places for people to sit. Fortunately we got over all of these problems and the group actually clicked extremely well. Overall, a great evening. The next day I ended up going for a drink with Matt, Al and Dobbin, who people will mostly remember from the posts I made in high school and college. Yes, I am very aware that was nearly 14 years ago now. Even weirder, they were out just by my work and I ended up dragging them to the Blackfriar pub as it has tables outside and it's always quiet on a weekend. I sat there drinking cider, about two minutes from where I work, with people I went to school with. Surreal, but good too.

I haven't done much else this month. I feel like I must have done - it's been ages! - but nope, been a quiet month all things considered. Richie is going to France next week for his charity cycle ride, so he's pretty much finishing up doing his training. I will miss him, although I have also booked two days off to revel in the sheer joy of BEING FUCKING ALONE for a bit. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Richie dearly and would be a bereft wreck without him on a permanent basis. I will be desperately missing him by the time he comes back. However, I am going to clear out of the flat as well as going to Ikea for a new bookcase, because books are not on the list of things I am throwing out. (I am assuming I will be able to take this home on the bus. I feel like there's going to be a hilarious comedy of errors in my near future, and that's before I try to assemble the dratted thing..!) I like the idea of spending a couple of days not talking to anyone at all short of 'what do you mean I can't take furniture on this bus'. I know I'm deeply antisocial in that way, but there we go. It's a nice recharge opportunity.

But first, a 4-day week with most of my colleagues being on holiday, so that'll be interesting. Will definitely need my quiet week afterwards!
hathycol: (Default)
3 day weekends are the best, you guys, I cannot even describe. It's a Sunday night and I have completed my usual weekend tasks of cleaning, shopping, sleeping in, drinking wine and watching nonsense on the telly all with the delightful knowledge that tomorrow I am! also! off work! and all of my chores are done! How exciting.

It's been a busy May. Post food-poisoning, Eurovision did indeed go ahead. Originally it was a small gathering, then it sort of grew when Kirsty asked if her brother and his girlfriend could come over. Of course, I said, and worried that I didn't have enough food, drink, clean enough flat or places for people to sit. Fortunately we got over all of these problems and the group actually clicked extremely well. Overall, a great evening. The next day I ended up going for a drink with Matt, Al and Dobbin, who people will mostly remember from the posts I made in high school and college. Yes, I am very aware that was nearly 14 years ago now. Even weirder, they were out just by my work and I ended up dragging them to the Blackfriar pub as it has tables outside and it's always quiet on a weekend. I sat there drinking cider, about two minutes from where I work, with people I went to school with. Surreal, but good too.

I haven't done much else this month. I feel like I must have done - it's been ages! - but nope, been a quiet month all things considered. Richie is going to France next week for his charity cycle ride, so he's pretty much finishing up doing his training. I will miss him, although I have also booked two days off to revel in the sheer joy of BEING FUCKING ALONE for a bit. Now, don't get me wrong, I love Richie dearly and would be a bereft wreck without him on a permanent basis. I will be desperately missing him by the time he comes back. However, I am going to clear out of the flat as well as going to Ikea for a new bookcase, because books are not on the list of things I am throwing out. (I am assuming I will be able to take this home on the bus. I feel like there's going to be a hilarious comedy of errors in my near future, and that's before I try to assemble the dratted thing..!) I like the idea of spending a couple of days not talking to anyone at all short of 'what do you mean I can't take furniture on this bus'. I know I'm deeply antisocial in that way, but there we go. It's a nice recharge opportunity.

But first, a 4-day week with most of my colleagues being on holiday, so that'll be interesting. Will definitely need my quiet week afterwards!

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